It has come to my attention that my firstname.lastname@example.org address doesn’t work. No idea how long this has been going on. I just received a complaint today and sent three test emails to the address, and didn’t get any of them.
I’ve written to my host about the problem to see if can, um, address it. In the meantime, you can reach me at Charley’s Facebook page or at email@example.com.
[UPDATE: Okay, it looks like Google is bouncing the emails because it thinks they’re spam. My host and I are trying to fix this.]
A Charley Project reader sent this in: Tyrone Tackett, Salena Tackett‘s husband, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to a whopping five years in prison. He gets credit for time served, which means he’ll be out of jail in less than a month.
The original charge had been first-degree murder and the sentence, life. I think the state’s case must have been very weak if they took a deal such as this.
Hendersonville man accused in wife’s death enters guilty plea
Tackett pleads to manslaughter, out of jail in 3 weeks
Man Pleads Guilty To Voluntary Manslaughter In Wife’s Death
I have my WiFi and my power cord back, so I’ll be able to change the missing person of the week at least and maybe update, I’m not sure on that end. This week’s featured MP is Cindy Valle, who was pregnant with a girl when she ran away from her Omaha, Nebraska home on August 26, 2011. Cindy’s daughter was due in December 2011 and would be two years old today.
The only new thing I could find on this case is a Facebook page created by her family, which has some more pictures of her. The FB page says there’s been no activity on Cindy’s social media accounts since she was last seen.
So, Lizard Hill got my login problem fixed, but then other unrelated problems arose. After I returned to Michael’s house, there was a power outage and when everything came back on, the WiFi for some reason had kicked it. The router is brand new and it’s turned on and everything and all the appropriate lights are glowing, but nothing will connect. Michael’s going to ask his computer guru friend to come over and have a look at it this evening.
On top of that, I discovered I left my computer power cable at Dad’s — an hour and a half drive, one way, from Michael’s. He’ll be visiting my mom’s neighborhood this evening and will drop off the cable at her house then. Mom’s house is a little closer. I can pick it up either tonight or tomorrow.
I can still access the internet on Michael’s computer (which does not use WiFi) and on my cell phone (I just got a new Apple 5s and it’s sweet). But I can’t update until both the WiFi problem and the power cable problem are taken care of.
Best case scenario, I should be back on track tomorrow.
To be honest I’m not really upset about the situation. I’m reading an awesome book about the history of cooking and eating utensils (seriously) and watching this awesome BBC series called “London Hospital” which is set in a charity hospital in the early 1900s.
Out of curiosity, I checked out the jumpers on this week’s list and compared them to the Golden Gate Bridge jumpers I have listed. I chose to include only those where either the cops specifically said they were sure the person had jumped, or there was a witness or the person’s stuff was found in the water. I left out those who merely left their car parked near the bridge, though I’m sure many of those also died there.
There were 21 names and as far as ages are concerned, they just about corresponded with the other list: most of them young, seven in their twenties, four in their teens (two of them only fifteen, sigh). However, in the previous list, there were almost as many females as males. Not so with the GGB list: eighteen males and only three females.
According to John Bateson’s wonderful book on the subject of Golden Gate Bridge suicides, three-quarters of the jumpers are male. 3 of 21 is only fourteen percent, though. But I suppose the additional difference might be explained by the fact that that male bodies, being heavier, might sink deeper and be less likely to be found than female ones, which is why they would appear on Charley. Just a hypothesis, mind.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: put up a barrier already. People are dying while you complain about it ruining your precious view.
I’ve written before about the numerous Golden Gate Bridge suicides on Charley. The number of total deaths is something now over 1,500, and that’s only the official ones. If your body isn’t found, or if it’s found far enough away from the bridge that there’s some doubt you jumped from there, or if there’s any other excuse to keep you off the list, your death isn’t included in the tally.
It’s been in the news that they’ve decided, or are in the process of deciding, or something, to put up a safety net under the Golden Gate Bridge. Frankly I think a net is a stupid idea, but it’s better than nothing.
I thought I’d make a list of Charley Project MPs who are presumed to have jumped off other bridges, cliffs, etc into bodies of water and never emerged. I should emphasize that these are all voluntary jumps, not cases of someone being thrown into the water or falling accidentally. I did decide to include a guy who shot himself on a bridge, whose body fell into the water and wasn’t recovered. I left out the baby whose mother jumped off a bridge with her child in her arms.
Each name tells a particularly sad story. I should note that, as you can see for yourself, many of these victims are terribly young. The average age of these eighteen individuals is 29.4, the median age is 23, five of them were in their twenties and five of them were 18 or younger.
Adrian Ferreras Almario, 17
Steven Earl Applegate, 17
Zachary A. Aylsworth, 22
Thomas Redd Evans, 51
Jennifer Ha, 17
Corey Michael Lang, 32
William Jeffers Lank, 42
Maricel Tolentino Marcial, 27
Priscilla Giordano McKee, 44
Brian Keith Morrison, 25
Lynenne Lavette O’Neill, 42
Roseline Pawai, 40
Mark Wade Potts, 45
Hilary Harmon Stagg Jr., 16
Sandra Stricklin, 24
Donna Lee Urban, 23
Charles White Whittlesey, 37
Chanier Corey Winns, 18
Selected by Christina S.: Beverly Rose Potts, one of Charley’s oldest cases. She disappeared from Cleveland, Ohio on August 24, 1951 — that is, sixty-two years ago. In the unlikely chance that she’s still alive, Beverly would be 73 years old next month. Her Charley Project casefile is quite long with over 1,000 words about the case history, with its many twists and turns and dead ends. She was last seen walking home from a nearby park. She almost made it home safe. But she didn’t.
Author James Jessen Badal wrote an excellent book, Twilight of Innocence, on the Potts case. I highly recommend this book to MP buffs, and if you have a Kindle you can buy it for less than eight bucks. From what I recall from the book, Badal believes Beverly was probably killed on the night of her disappearance, and that her body might very well be buried on her own street.
Beverly’s parents and sister are dead, and the person(s) responsible for her disappearance is probably dead also. I highly doubt this case will ever be solved. The best we can hope for is maybe her body being found.
For reasons that remain unclear, I have been unable to log into my charleyproject.org account for the past few days. I’m in touch with my host’s tech support and hopefully the matter will be fixed soon. In the meantime, though, I can’t update.
Which is fine with me, actually, since I’m planning on taking off to see my dad later today. Fare thee well, I shall see thee upon my return!
Another ET entry by me: five-time killer Frederick Charles Wood. Honestly I don’t know whether he counts as a serial killer or not. He technically fits the definition, but the murders don’t seem very serial-y to me.
This week’s Flashback Friday post is for Louis Balas and Betty Balas. A married couple in their mid-seventies, they vanished from their Los Angeles home over thirty years ago. Betty doesn’t have her own Charley Project page because I don’t have any photos of her.
It’s all pretty mysterious. Louis and Betty were just GONE, leaving the TV on, a bathtub full of water, and the front door open. No signs of a struggle. The only thing that went missing with them was their car, and that turned up the next day.
The only possible clue is that Louis was abducted and robbed two years before he went missing, and he vanished the day before he was supposed to testify against the person accused of doing it. That’s just way too convenient and it seems highly likely that the testimony and the Balas’s disappearances are related, but that’s hardly evidence to prosecute anyone on.
Other than that I’ve got nothing on them. I couldn’t find much of interest when I went looking for more info about the case just now, other than the Doe Network’s notation that Louis had a heart condition and, inevitably, left his medicine behind.
I don’t know if anyone is even looking for Louis and Betty Balas anymore. I don’t know if they had children or grandchildren. If they did, they might have great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren by now, and maybe those descendants don’t even know about this disappearance. After 33 years and counting, I don’t have a lot of hope that this case can be solved.